Is Kosher Weed a thing?

Posted on January 03 2016

Ok, I’ve phrased it as a question because I’m not Jewish and to be frank, I don’t know the ins and outs of what makes something ‘Kosher.’ However, in response to the news that a New York company is planning on introducing ‘Kosher’ medical marijuana, I noticed that a lot of people on the internet (Twitter, mainly) were saying that the concept is stupid as all weed in inherently ‘Kosher.’

Essentially, the New York based company Vireo Health have introduced a range of edible products that have been confirmed as conforming to Jewish Dietary Law by the Orthodox Union (OU). 

“Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a chet, a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment,” said Ari Hoffnung, the company’s CEO. 

If you’re reading this as a person of the Jewish Faith, concerned with how a medicinal product sits within the guidelines of Jewish Law, then this is surely great news. 

However, as I’m not Jewish, I’m more interested in the symbolism of this introduction and what it represents for the wider community (and people of all faiths). Essentially, however you view a chet, or sins, or mitzvahs or anything… whatever you call it… the consumption of marijuana, especially medical marijuana, should not be viewed as something to be ashamed of, especially if it can help with illness. 

“Today’s announcement sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot’ culture. Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”

It is another example of shifting perspective, and that it is filtered through religious law is almost secondary to the fact it represents a realisation that medicine, in whatever form, should not be looked at through an antiquated gauze.  It is all about reducing stigmas. 




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